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Smoke & Dagger - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Smoke & DaggerSmoke & Dagger

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

726 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 726
Reviews: 130
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 39
Gots: 55 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Cloaked in mystery, this dark black beer skirts the line between a schwarzbier and smoked porter. The use of a small percentage of traditional Beechwood smoked malt adds complexity and balances the liberal use of chocolate malt. Notes of roasted grains, beechwood smoke,and coffee accompany a full bodied-and sweet chocolately malt character. Smoke & Dagger uses locally grown unmalted barley from MA.

25 IBU

(Beer added by: mduncan on 07-29-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 726 | Reviews: 130 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sultz04
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

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4/5  rDev +2.3%

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4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of takelondon
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of sommersb
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 04-22-2013
Freshness: Bottled 02-18-2013
Packaging: 500ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Willi Becher
Purchased: Received in a trade

Thanks to DrewShal9 for this trade!

Appearance is a clear and dark brown beer, nearly black, with red edges on the glass when held to light. The huge off-white head is frothy and has a great deal of retention, plus an excellent ring of lace.

Smells have a big dose of toasted grains, as well as smoked malts. The campfire smokiness is not as heavy as most rauchbiers - this one is more tame in the smoke, with some sweetness in the aroma. Also has some wood and vanilla notes.

Taste starts with smoked malts; meaty like most smoked beers. Also has earthy/woody characteristics, and bittersweet chocolate.

The mouthfeel is creamy with a moderate carbonation. The finish is dry and tastes of coffee-like bitterness and some unpleasant chalky textures.

Overall a curious melding of several styles; schwarzbier, porter and rauchbier. I think they all worked together very well, but this is kind of one-time beer that I wouldn't probably seek out again.

Photo of angrybabboon
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Consumed 4/16/13

Appearance: Dark, dark brown with some clarity around the edges - creamy, light tan head - keeps a solid cap and leaves some nice streaks and spots of lacing

Smell: Moderately smoky, with a nice malt base - nicely malty, with a great level of chocolate malts and caramel - some nice chocolate and roasty coffee - some hints of hops in the background

Taste: Nicely balanced with chocolate and smoke - smoky wood, roasty coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, nuts, caramelized malts, and caramel - smoky and roasty without going overboard, very nice - some grassy hops - medium level of bitterness - clean, especially considering the smoke

Mouthfeel: Medium body, remarkably smooth, nicely carbonated, oddly clean finish

Overall: You can really taste the dagger!

I split a bottle of this with Goblinmunkey7 roughly a year ago, and this bottle is even better than I remember. There are some nice smoke and chocolate notes here, in an impressive amount of balance. Another winner from Jack's Abby.

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4/5  rDev +2.3%

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3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

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4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

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4/5  rDev +2.3%

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4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

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4/5  rDev +2.3%

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3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

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3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

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4/5  rDev +2.3%

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4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of BarrelAgedBrian
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Who says that traditional lager makers lack imagination or are passe in taste. Jack's Abby puts on a full-out display of charisma and quality in this smoky dark ale that borrows influences from German Black Beers, Rauchbiers, Dunkels and Baltic Porters for a refined taste that's highly complex for its drinkability.

The stealth-like "Smoke & Dagger" pours with the mystery-shrouded dark brown hue that's only pierced with crystal clear highlights of mahogany and chestnut. Ats it quietly releases a light khaki foam, the beer captures the eye with a frothy whipped topping that retains firmly and laces the glass with intermittent and artistic patterns.

A ton of malt and phenol complexes converge in aromas for blend that keeps speaking, "smoky chocolate". With the air of lightly scorched barley, the scent hinges on toffee, caramel and brown sugar. Grounded notes of toast, coffee, heavy whipping cream form the underpinnings of a classic dark lager.

It's smooth taste relaxes the taste buds with medium malt sweetness of the same caramel and toffee that the nose promises. More earthy and rustic notes of coffee, woodish hops, and a light alcohol & peppercorn spice ushers in a balancing bitterness to close. All this flavor is wrapped in a cocoon of heavy whipping cream and beechwood campfire.

It's creamy. It's dry, It slices; it dices- it Juliennes! The beer is a Swiss Army knife in that it starts creamy and rich, but turns roasty and powdery midway through before diving into a drinkable sensibility to close. Creamy like milkshake and bitter like coffee- the beer spans the gamut of mouthfeel descriptor en route to a grainy-sweet alcohol warmth to finish.

With a touch of confusion, I can see why the beer doesn't settle on a set style when a blend of well-tested recipes will obviously work better. Jack's Abby proves that there's a ton of imagination that if not bound by the "rules" of beer making.

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4/5  rDev +2.3%

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4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of nataku00
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a dark cola brown, bordering on black, with a finger and a half of tan loose foam head. Head dissipates after a few minutes to a slick of bubbles and a collar of foam, leaving some light lacing. Decent carbonation visible at the edges of the glass.

Nose is smoked malt, roasted malt, coffee.

Taking a sip, typical rauchbier flavors of smoked and roasted malt. A touch of coffee and chocolate as well. Finish is all smoke.

Light body with some decent soft carbonation. Easier to drink rauchbier, with the smoke being subtle but flavorful and not in your face.

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4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

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4/5  rDev +2.3%

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4/5  rDev +2.3%

Smoke & Dagger from Jack's Abby Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 726 ratings.